Michael Zucchi

 B.E. (Comp. Sys. Eng.)

  also known as zed
  & handle of notzed


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Saturday, 27 April 2019, 18:50

A big bloody rant

Ok it's time for another rant. I had a list of things to rant about and I lost it ... so I created another one. I may remember on the way.

Children or pearl clutching nannikins may want to look away.

In short; i'm getting pretty sick of junk on the internet, junk in software development, junk in politics. There's the other crap like anti-vaxxers and climate change denialists - but well that's more of a collective fuckup that we'll all have to reckon with in the end.

Alright where to begin. Firefox. Fuck firefox. Every time it upgrades it seems to break somefucking thing. Now the preferences have been lobotomised for no obvious reason: rather than a click you have to scroll forever to find what you want. And the default scroll using a wheel-mouse is so frustratingly slow it's a total headfuck. Why can't they just include a proper javascript and image blocker in the base fucking application rather than a buggy plugin (oh no, extension!) that breaks every upgrade. And then when you run it it wants to run you through a fucking tutorial about all the great shit it does. Yeah i've been using a browser for 20 years, they're just not that special you know. The pocket. I don't even know what it is but I know I don't want it. Fancy url rendering: look it's just a bit of text, I want to see what it is, you don't need to hide the http or the www or the com. It doesn't make it any more usable or more readable. Multi process; which just means heavy swapping. Javascript is just such a stupid language the last thing anyone should be doing is encouraging more of it.

cmake, got what a load of junk. After years of failures I finally am able to actually compile some projects with cmake out of the box. But it's still usually fucked and the only solution seems to be to go edit the usually non-documented application-specific configuration files.

C++ is such a shit language. Templates are joke. You have<to::tell::the::compilerExactlyWhat>youMean.EveryTime(YouUseIt(X)). And it's still uses gobs of memory and runs like a total pig and gives overly verbose and low-information error dumps. Everyone uses templates because it inlining absolutely everything makes the fastest and most efficient code. Actually, no, it really doesn't. Over-inlining starves registers (particularly on the terminally register-starved x86 platform), blows out the L1 cache, and wastes memory and disk space. Sure you can use it judiciously but but the time you've done that you may as well have just use something else.

Python. Spaces are important. Oh no, actually the number of white-space characters are important. I haven't got time to wait for the molasses of a cursor to step-one-space-at-a-fuck-ing-time-to-get-to-where-the-action-is. I saw a comment on reddit yesterday about how python is so cool because of the indenting. It really isn't. With C or any other sane language you can type whatever you want and the compiler can work it out. The bit that python is missing is you can then automatically format it in various more readable ways that show exactly how the compiler will treat it. With python you're stuck with what you see. Add a block? Now you how to indent everything else and make sure you do it right, now just add a couple of braces and hit re-fromat. Ugh.

This isn't even the real problem with python. I recently had to try to compile pytorch, a 'lightweight' (ROFLMAO what the fuck?) artificial neural network engine and the abomonation that was once caffe. The webpage says use anaconda. Ok 4-fucking-gigabytes later I get something that doesn't work; this version isn't compiled with the features I need (probably because of fucking software patents and ffmpeg). So I spent a couple of days trying to get it to build from source (actually I tried that first but had to go back to it). Fighting with cmake and whatnot I finally get it compiled. But then the python doesn't run. Just a meaningless backtrace (which is pretty much my experience with anything python). Ok so some package isn't there. Ok so ... one uses pip or whatever to install it like you might with apt or yum. Except it isn't really like apt or yum at all. It isn't even like slackpkg. All it does is download a tar and drop in on the filesystem. Dependencies? What are they? Versions? Hah, surely you jest! It's just a bunch of files on the system.

So you run the script again. Again it breaks. Again you install another package. Then lmdb wont even bloody install because setup.py is broken. The internets claim this is a pip bug but then you fuck up and end up with 3 copies of pip installed (/usr, /usr/local, ~/.local) ... and well you fuck it all off and start again. Eventually it turns out lmdb is a compile option hidden somewhere inside the cmake scripts of the fucking custom OpenCV build you had to compile when you started on this journey a couple of days ago.

Javascript. I mean I can't even manage to encompass the size of the fuckup of this conceptually let alone put it into words.

Web page feedback. You go to AMD or wherever to look up some hardware or software details and before the front page has even loaded the page goes white and an overlay asks you to provide feedback for your 'web' experience. Here's some fucking feedback:

                    |   |
                    |   |
                    |   |
                 /'\|   |/'\..
             /~\|   |   |   | \
            |   =[@]=   |   |  \
            |   |   |   |   |   \
            | ~   ~   ~   ~ |`   )
            |                   /
             \                 /
              \               /
               \    _____    /
                | (( +==)) |

Jesus, even that was hard to find: nobody knows what the fuck ASCII is anymore. It's all windows-cpfuck-you-too or some other junk.

Highly related is a web-site that keeps asking you to subscribe. Or keeps giving you 'helpful hints' on how to use it. You know what, I can read, if it's not obvious it doesn't fucking matter. I don't need to be stepped in turn through every single feature that is so unique it's on every other bloody website. I'm sure you're very proud of getting it to work, well good for you. Now you just fucked it up by bugging the fuck out of me.

Or bloody achievements. I just don't bother with any forums anymore but I am on the FSF member forum although it's pretty dead and I just don't fit in (story of my life). I mean I get a happy-face-stamp for writing my first post. Ok thanks I guess? What am i, in grade fucking one? There's enough trouble with the world infanticising everything, do we really need it on every bloody forum we visit? I know i know, it drivers user engagement and all the metrics. Well fuck the metrics.

Speaking of metrics, why the fuck can't the yanks get with the programme? Even when they do use them they can't spell it properly. It's a bloody metre, a meter is something with a dial. Fuck the freedom units.

Modern user interfaces. aka the hamburger menu. aka the stack of shit menu. Yeah so apparently a small row or column of easly read text is too much for the kool kidz these days and it's all hip 2D iconography and animations and shit. It's a shit style that will age poorly. Every time a site or application updates menu's go missing or get moved somewhere else. Jesus fucking stick to something you don't have to actually change this this just for the sake of it. You know that people will just get used to whatever you have; the cognitive overload of having to relean it every time massively increases the real costs of any 'improvement' you might make.

Glaring white pages. Well this goes back to the original internet explorer, M$ windows, M$ word (yes I said itt! There's good solid reasoning behing it!). I regularly spend 12+ hours a day on a computer, if I was being blasted with that white shit I would be blinder than I am already. I don't get headaches for a reason.

Constant updates, rolling releases, fluid apis. It's just too much. Sometimes things are just done and don't need updating anymore. But if you do that you dissapear off the google search results. You're no longer part of the zeitgeist! Heavens! Can't have that! No you need a fancy logo and an annual rebranding `event' and need never maintain anything again, just throw out a new release when you've got enough new buttons to make it look like it matters! Gotta rush to the end of that sprint!

If you can't keep up, well you've just been out-evolved by the equivalent of a telephone sanitiser.

There was more i'm sure but that'll do for now.

Oh hang on, one more rather important one in my notes. Back to firefox. I normally run firefox which is finely tuned to be actually usable. I don't use many plugins - disable javascript, disable fonts and colours and that's about it. But I customise the fuck out of everything else: no fucking animations of smooth-this-or-fucking-that, middle-click to open a url, etc etc. I even have a userContent.css that hides a whole of shit on sites I commonly use (like the banners on stackoverflow and so on). But I tried a naked profile in order to test out the stylesheets i've worked on for code and docs. Boy what a fucking joke. All the reminders about shit I don't want. They even fucked up ctrl-tab so it goes forward but wont return where you came from (isntead it opens a menu with very different keyboard navigation) - i mean what's 25 years of convention for anyway?

But the most alarming one was when I went to download my own fucking sourcecode. Apparently a tar.gz file is now a dangerous download.

Yeah fuck off mozilla you bunch of stupid cunts.

Now I just feel like shit, this has been really depressing.

Sad face.

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